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PM Turnbull: Why can’t Australians claim Medicare rebates for online video counselling?

This petition had 1,319 supporters

Our government claims that innovation will save our nation, and when it comes to mental health – we agree. In 2017 it’s difficult to believe that online mental health care services do not currently qualify for Medicare rebates.

Suicide is now the leading cause of death for young and middle-aged Australians, and the number of people in both rural and urban Australia struggling with mental health issues is on the rise. Unbelievably, the Medicare rebate is still only available for a traditional face-to-face session.

The Australian Government should be making it easier for all Australians to access support when they need it, not harder.  The technology is available. The need is obvious. The time is now.


Together we can convince the Australian Government to put the 'innovation agenda' to work on providing Medicare rebates for online mental health care services. It’s time to make it more affordable and convenient for Australians to access online video counselling with psychologists and accredited mental health clinicians.

Life without online Medicare rebates
Unfortunately, many regional and rural Australians don’t contemplate mental health care because the current system is simply too difficult to access. Those who do seek support are forced to drive for hours and take time off work to visit their nearest psychologist, clinical social worker or counsellor. Medicare rebates for online mental health care services would allow regional and rural Australians to receive support in the privacy and comfort of their own home, without sacrificing time and money to do so.

Busy working people are not accessing professional help due to a shortage of after hours appointments, long waiting lists, family responsibilities, work commitments and a lack of spare time. This means that issues are left untreated for unnecessary lengths of time, which can contribute to further deterioration of mental health. Medicare rebates for online psychology sessions would mean that people could access support quickly and conveniently, at a time that fits in with their lifestyle.

Not to mention everyday Australians, whose physical disabilities or health issues make it more challenging to leave the house.

There are thousands of stories like this. Do you believe that Australian’s should have the access, choice and affordability to take care of the mental health and wellbeing of themselves and their families? Sign the petition now.

So what are you waiting for Mr Turnbull?
Australian’s have embraced the convenience of online services – from banking to Uber. Medicare rebates for online mental health care would transform access to services, overcome stigma and revolutionise the mental health and wellbeing of all Australians. The benefits are obvious:

  • Reduced cost makes support affordable which means Australians will be more likely to access counselling
  • Less waiting and travel time means Australians can get help when they need it
  • Ability to choose and connect with the best quality professionals from across the country
  • Better access to a wide range of specialists depending on individual needs - e.g. substance use, men’s health, domestic violence, children and young people 
  • Overcomes any stigma or embarrassment with the ability to privately connect with a professional from the comfort of your own home 

Be part of one of the biggest changes to Mental Health Care access in Australia’s history. It’s time to change lives and save lives. 


Aaron Williams is a mental health clinician and co-founder and CEO of Mindstar.  Originally from a corporate background, Aaron began working in mental health and launched Mindstar following his own experience with depression and suicidal ideation. 

Mindstar is an online wellbeing & mental health platform that provides people with the freedom to browse, choose and connect with the best psychologists, social workers and counsellors from across the country through secure video chat.

Want to do more to help?
Share this campaign with your network and encourage those around you to sign and share. Head to the Mindstar website and join the #mentalhealthrevolution. 

Today: Aaron is counting on you

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